NO MORE MR. NICE FIRM - A recent internal memo at massive plaintiffs firm Morgan & Morgan forbade its attorneys from extending professional courtesies to insurance defense lawyers. “Under no circumstances will we be agreeing to any continuances, discovery extensions, or request to extend deadline to answer complaints,” said the memo, which was posted on several websites, including the ABA Journal. “Red line rules. It will be a serious internal offense if we find any courtesies being extended to the insurance industry.” A follow-up memo clarified that attorneys should follow Rules of Professional Conduct and civil procedure and that they should determine what to do in each case, but, as Law.com’s Alexander Lugo reports, several legal community observers are questioning whether this hardliner approach will be practical and even appropriate in the courtroom.
ASSOCIATES SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS? - The now-viral Paul Hastings presentation about being online “24/7” with no excuses or exceptions may have been delivered by a senior associate, but observers told Law.com’s Patrick Smith that the episode speaks volumes about the firm as a whole. “This is really reflective of the firm,” Deborah Farone, the former chief marketing officer of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Debevoise & Plimpton and founder of legal consulting firm Farone Advisors, said. “This ended up in the hands of someone who didn’t quite know how to say what they wanted to say. There needs to be a reinforcement of culture and moments of teaching. If you really want an associate to lead a group, you need to take the responsibility to train them.”